Interpreting the Free Exercise of Religion: The Constitution and American Pluralism

By Bette Novit Evans | Go to book overview

2
DEFINITIONS OF RELIGION UNDER THE FREE EXERCISE CLAUSE

THE THRESHOLD PROBLEM

A Jewish parent wants her son excused from public school to attend worship services on Rosh Hashanah. It is the only time of year the family attends the synagogue, but the parent feels that some connection with her son's religious tradition is important, and she does not want the school to penalize him for his absence. Nothing is unusual about this request. Now consider another parent, a passionate music lover for whom music is the center of life's meaning, comfort in distress, and source of hope and inspiration. This parent asks that her son be excused from school for cello lessons during the school day. We would not be surprised if the school grants the first parent's request, reasoning that to deny the Jewish parent's request would violate her First Amendment rights, and denies the second request as one of purely personal preference or convenience. How confident can any decision maker be in saying that one kind of motivation is religious, and hence protected by the Constitution, and the other is not? How can we define -- or at least distinguish -- a religion, which is, after all, the threshold to First Amendment protection? In this chapter, we consider definitions of religious belief, faith, profession, or motivation that characterize religious conduct, leaving for Chapter 4 the even more difficult problem of recognizing religious practices.

The threshold claim encapsulates the underlying dilemma of Free Exercise protection. To provide principled protection for religious exercise, we need to be able to distinguish legitimate Free Exercise claims from spurious ones. But every effort to make such distinctions infuses the Constitution with

-46-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Interpreting the Free Exercise of Religion: The Constitution and American Pluralism
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Acknowledgments ix
  • Introduction 1
  • 1- The Search for Principles 11
  • 2- Definitions of Religion Under The Free Exercise Clause 46
  • 3- Burdens to Religious Beliefs 76
  • 4- The Nature of Religious Exercises 98
  • CONCLUSIONS 119
  • 5- The Autonomy of Religious Institutions 121
  • 6- Threats to Religious Identity 168
  • 7- Burdens on Religious Exercise 182
  • 8- Accommodating, Exempting, and Balancing: Religious Freedom and the Political Process 204
  • 9- The Pluralist Theory of Free Exercise 228
  • Conclusion 246
  • Notes 247
  • CHAPTER 9 285
  • Index 289
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this book
  • Bookmarks
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
/ 294

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.